Great White's demise was like so many: gradual at first, then all at once.
They released their debut album in 1984, and
The ...Twice Shy
album was their fourth. By this time, they had gradually built a following, with each album since their 1984 debut doing substantially better than the last. Once Bitten
sold a million copies thanks to tracks like "Save Your Love" and "Rock Me"; ...Twice Shy
sold 2 million, largely because of this song.
But when grunge moved in, it displaced hair metal acts like Great White, and the band struggled. By 2003 they were playing small venues to a few hundred people each night. One of these shows was at The Station Nightclub in Rhode Island, which turned tragic
when the band's pyrotechnics started a fire that killed 100 people including their guitarist, Ty Longley. No member of Great White was criminally charged, but their tour manager did jail time.
In the aftermath, the band tried doing benefit concerts, but that just made things worse. Survivors and families of the victims asked the band not to speak of the incident, as it seemed to open old wounds when they did.
Jack Russell, who had a long history of addiction and health problems, unravelled completely by 2010 and suffered a fall that put him in a coma. Mark Kendall kept the band going but with a new lead singer: Terry Ilous, who was replaced by Mitch Malloy in 2018. Russell got better and formed his own version of the group: Jack Russell's Great White, which released their first album in 2017. By this time, it was common for both version of the group to be touring concurrently, especially in the summer.